The job evaluation of Superintendent of Schools Aresta Johnson has caused a dust-up among some Board of Education members following chairman John Weldon’s decision to extend the process by 10 days for others who did not meet the agreed-upon August 8th submission deadline. Weldon extended the deadline for board members Dennis Bradley and Jessica Martinez, according to board member Maria Pereira. Bradley on Tuesday defeated Aaron Turner in the Democratic primary for State Senate in Connecticut’s 23rd District. Martinez served as his campaign treasurer. Pereira supported Turner.
Under state law the job performance of district school superintendents must be evaluated each year. The board established a review timetable in June. Pereira asserts she fulfilled her board obligations despite working long hours on Turner’s campaign. Teachers report to school August 27th and students August 30th, a short timeline from the anticipated review.
On Thursday Weldon issued this email to school board members.
I’m in the process of calling a Special Meeting for Tues., August 21st at 6:30 p.m. items will be on the agenda:
— Discussion and Possible Action on BEA Grievance No. 2760, Change in Healthcare Plan
— Annual Performance Evaluation of Superintendent Aresta L. Johnson, Ed.D
My apologies, but not everyone has submitted their reviews thus far but, after speaking with those who are outstanding, I anticipate they will by submitted no later than Saturday. In reliance on that, I’m scheduling the meeting (if they aren’t turned in by then, we will proceed with what we have).
Whatever is turned in by Saturday will be used to finalize the score matrix and list of focus areas, which I will send to everyone, along with each Board Member’s individualized comment as to how they arrived at the scores they did.
Separately, so you are aware, Dr. Johnson has been kept apprised of this and is comfortable with it–She wants as may people to provide feedback as possible, and if a couple of more days allows for that, she’s been agreeable to waiting. However, the line does need to be drawn somewhere, which is why I’m setting the meeting for Tuesday.
Last, I don’t think we’ve addressed this: Was it everyone’s intention to provide her with the review at the meeting, or in advance of it so she can ask us questions about it at the meeting in the event she wants to provide a written response (which she has a right to do under this process). Personally, I think it would be pointless to provide it to her at the meeting and expect her to go through it with us, unless you want to provide it Tuesday and adjourn to another time when she can talk with us about it after she’s had time to digest it. Food for thought–Let me know what you think is most appropriate–and again, my apologies for the delay.
You are unbelievable.
On whose authority are you circumventing the process and deadlines the Board voted unanimously to approve?
All Board members have other obligations and I know for a fact that Ben, Joseph and I met all the deadlines we set.
Now you have decided you are going to alter the process and deadlines to accomodate completely irresponsible BOE members who failed to fulfil their responsibilities as board members.
I want my FOI request fulfilled. Hernan sent me his email to you with the attachment which was sent after the deadline.
I want the others sent to me.
We are back -to -school in about ten days and the Superintendent does not have her evaluation, goals or objectives.
This is completely unacceptable and unfair to her. You have left her no time to formulate and implement a plan to meet her goals and objectives BEFORE the school year begins.
Who are the BOE members that missed tbe deadline of August 8th and still have not submitted their evaluations as of today?
School board member Ben Walker’s response:
You have no authority to unilaterally extend a deadline discussed, voted on, and approved by the majority of the duly elected Board at an official meeting. Anyone who missed this deadline must have their submissions discarded and they shall not be counted as part of the Superintendent’s evaluation.
Being a member of this board is an obligation and its deadlines should be met in a professional manner. Any behavior otherwise is disrespectful of and diminishes the work of the rest of the members.